Apply for Business Licenses In Texas

A frequent question we get is how to get a business license or permit in Texas.  There are actually several types of licenses your business may need to apply for like a local business license, sales tax license or professional license.  The cost of business licenses is going to vary depending on the type of business and location. It’s important to start applying for licensing early as it may take some time to get approval to operate your business.  Some types of businesses will also need to register with multiple agencies, which also increases the time to legally operate.  While this site is continually being updated, it’s important to also contact your local city/town’s City Hall, Economic Developer or Mayor to let them know you are in the process of getting started and get confirmation that all local licenses and permits have been applied for.

Some licenses your business may need to apply for include:

Local Texas Business License Application

Almost every Texas community (both at the town/city and/or county level) have some sort of licensing/registration or rules and regulations that businesses need to be aware of.  Some require a general business license while others have requirements for certain professions, zoning, building/ building improvements, signage requirements, etc.

You will want to make sure that your business meets the requirements before opening the doors instead of having a visit to shut down operations until you are in compliance.   Don’t be intimidated in working with your local governments as they have an interest in new businesses opening in the community and they are there to help you do so, but certain laws and regulations must be followed.

Be sure to contact your City Hall, Economic Developer or Mayor to say you are planning to start a business and need to find out what is needed to register.

State of Texas Business License

The state of Texas does not have a general business license filing.

Texas Sales Tax Permit

Businesses that are engaged in selling or leasing tangible personal property or taxable services in Texas need to apply for a Texas Sales Tax Permit.  For more information on the Texas Sales Tax Permit, visit the Texas Comptroller.

More details regarding sales taxes in Texas is included later in our guide to starting a business.

Professional Licenses

A variety of professionals in the state are regulated and need to register such as therapists, tattoo studios, salvage brokers, food establishments and many more.  Additional information, fees and licensing requirements for professions are available from the Texas Department of State Health Services.

In addition to professional licenses, businesses in a variety of industries such as food establishments, day cares, salvage yards and many others require licensing.

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